Monday, March 14, 2011

Quiche...Not the Food...The Dialect

Hey Mom and Dad. I’m glad to hear things are good. I bet it's getting busier and busier in prep for conference. I know I’m pumped for it. Mom, make sure you get more camera time this time around. Dad, slip the camera guy a fiver.

I was absolutely delighted to hear about dad's new calling. HAHAHAHA - the young men calling is in your blood. It literally is inevitable.

Thanks for letter mom. I enjoyed it. I bought Elder T a shake. It’s his birthday on Monday. Auntie Cath thanks again for the note. I always look forward to hearing from you. Thanks also for the words on prayer. I love that scripture too.

I know everyone is probably frustrated with me... I have not been good about writing and sending out letters to friends and family. I know I need to... I will get to it. There literally is hardly any time though. P-day’s are non-existent now. But once more... I will get to it.

So on base last Sunday there were some awesome miracles that happened. First of all... we got there about 8 am and filled up the font (trough) and then the Fullmers grabbed us and said that a solider named Bro Hall walked into the chapel saying that he wanted to be baptized! Surprise! haha. He grew up in Utah and his fiancé is a member. He just never had the interest. Bro Hall had been to church a few times before on base and has been prepping for baptism. BUT he had also wanted to wait until his fiancé could be there. He didn't come the week before... so things weren't looking the most hopeful for him until he just walked in with a change of heart. I interviewed him and he knew everything. He was so sincere. He told me that he had wanted to wait... but over the week he just got this strong feeling that he needed to do it now. I baptized him and Elder Douglas confirmed him all before sacrament meeting even began. He was given the Aaronic priesthood.

More miracles on base. Last week I wrote about Bro S who I had invited to pray a few Sundays ago. He came to church on Sunday telling me that he has not missed a day since. He has had such a huge change of heart and character. It was so cool to see. Great blessings and changes of heart come to those who are humble and submissive to God's will. Bro S was baptized by his battle buddy - Bro R. So awesome!

Okay more miracles. This one is SWEET!

So there is a set of sisters serving in an area called Sumter. There are no Spanish missionaries serving anywhere near this place. So they when they find Hispanic people - they teach them (one of the sisters speaks a little bit of Spanish). For the past month they have been teaching a Spanish guy named D. D is from Guatemala and also speaks a dialect called Quiche. He’s single and lives with another family. The sisters have been teaching him with a man in their ward who translates the lessons into Spanish. Well he was all set for baptism so they asked me to come out and interview him. They told me that the translator didn't always translate what the sisters would say, so I knew when I approached this interview that I would need to do some teaching myself to ensure his understanding before baptism. When I sat down with him... he was answering very timidly with general answers. He didn't understand some concepts and his responses were often off topic. I was very concerned. At that moment I thought - he can't get baptized... he's not ready. But I gave him another day to study and pray. I returned the next night to follow up on his reading... he didn't read. I asked him other follow up questions and his answers just always seemed to be " follow God..." very vague and simple. Which is fine... but the answers didn't always fit. I was bummed. I couldn't pass him for baptism. I pulled Elder T aside and told him what was going on. We stepped outside and talked about it for a bit. Then we prayed and the answer that seemed to come was... let's give him a few more weeks. We went back inside and I asked to visit with D alone again. I was so frustrated - I thought... "Why doesn't he understand? Why is it so hard for him to understand the gospel? He wants to be baptized and has pure desires... why doesn't he understand the rest of it?" I was just about to go in and break the news to him when finally the inspiration came - I asked him, "How much Spanish to you speak?" he said only a little bit. I asked, "How much do you understand" he said he only kind of understood Spanish. I realized that the reason that he didn't understand was because he doesn't speak Spanish. He speaks Quiche and felt uncomfortable answering in Spanish. I thought of the family that he lived with. T is D’s friend. I ran out and asked T "Do you speak good Spanish and Quiche?" Miracle... he did! I had him come in and translate the interview all over again. Spanish to Quiche... Quiche to Spanish. D’s answers were amazing. He understood the gospel and is ready for baptism. I passed him and he will be baptized today. The sisters asked if I would perform the baptism.

Zone conferences have been keeping us busy. We’ve been all over the mission in a week. President asked me to train the missionaries as part of the conference. I trained them on being a faithful missionary. The zone conferences were a success. The missionaries were really motivated by the end of it. President can sure inspire a large crowd.

That's it. I gotta go.
Love ya all,
Elder Stoneman

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